Cancer fundraiser is today in Wailuku

Kahuena “Kaku” Kanekoa

The Maui News – A fundraiser for a 6-year-old boy fighting cancer for a third time in his young life will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Wailuku Coffee Co.

Kahuena “Kaku” Kanekoa was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma cancer when he was 4 years old. He won the battle two times but the cancer has returned.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles, the American Cancer Society website said. About seven weeks into the development of an embryo, cells called rhabdomyoblasts begin to form and they are the cells that develop into cancer.

Because this is a cancer of embryonal cells, it is much more common in children, although it does sometimes occur in adults, the cancer society said.

Kahuena’s family had to move from Maui to Oahu, then from Maui to Reno, Nev., to be closer to pediatric oncologists in Oakland, Calif.

The travel has left his family financially devastated, according to his fundraising website.

The Wailuku Coffee Co. fundraiser includes music by Kanekoa; art by Kelly Sullivan and Maxwell Louis Ross, who will be painting live and raffling a piece of art; a silent auction with gift cards, massages, luau tickets and earrings; and food and drink donated by Wailuku Coffee Co.

There also is a fundraising account at for Kahuena.